St Joseph’s 1-14 Stradbally 2-5
ACFL Division 1A
St Joseph’s recorded their seventh win of the season last night to move three points clear at the top of the ACFL Division 1A with five rounds to go.
A fast start was the key for the Kellyville outfit who completed a league double over county champions Stradbally with relative ease.
Indeed, the home side raced into a six point lead by the midpoint of the first half and never really looked back from there.
They made the best possible start with three minutes on the clock when Dylan Doyle got on the end of a swift handpassing move to score the game’s first goal.
Points soon followed through Michael Keogh, Dan Dunne and Matty Campion and 15 minutes passed before Tom Shiel replied with Stradbally’s first point.
Colm Kelly chipped in with another but Joseph’s added four more before half time via Doyle, Dunne and a brace from Keogh to move into a 1-7 to 0-2 lead at the break.
The sides traded points on the resumption of play and Stradbally made a real game of it after that as Colm Kelly struck for two goals to reduce the margin to three points with ten minutes to play.
But Stradbally were reduced to 14 men after Jamie Kavanagh was shown a straight red card following a melee and this hampered their progress.
The Little Town failed to score in the final period as St Joseph’s had Colin Campion and Murtagh Condron on the scoreboard to see out their victory.
Three wins from their final five games would guarantee St Joseph’s a final place and they face Arles-Killeen next. Stradbally are still not safe from relegation and they tackle another of their neighbours, Portlaoise, next.
SCORERS – St. Joseph’s: Dylan Doyle 1-2, Michael Keogh 0-5, Dan Dunne 0-3, Matty Campion 0-2, Colin Campion and Murtagh Condron 0-1 Stradbally: Colm Kelly 2-2, Tom Shiel 0-3
ST. JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Cian Maher, Tom Dunne, Donal Ramsbottom; Colin Campion, Dan Dunne, Murtagh Condron; James Smith, Cathal Fleming, Liam Kealy, Michael Keogh, Dylan Doyle; Danny Hickey, Matty Campion, Brendan Hickey. Subs: Jason Campion for Smith, Conor Kealy for B Hickey, Paddy Hickey for Ramsbottom
STRADBALLY: Wayne Comerford; Jack Langton, Eamon Conlon, Jamie Kavanagh; Justin Lalor, Liam Knowles, John Donohue; Darren Maher, Stephen Lawlor; Damien Murphy, Tom Shiel, Colin Beale; Podge Fitzpatrick, Conor Delaney, Colm Kelly. Subs: Derek Beale for Lalor (black card)
Referee: Darren Bracken (Portarlington)
Graiguecullen 1-19 Arles-Killeen 2-8
Graiguecullen are up to fourth in the table as they recorded back to back wins for the first time since March.
Pádraig Clancy’s side lost four games on the trot before recording a narrow win over Ballyroan-Abbey last week and that has obviously lifted their confidence.
This latest eight point defeat leaves Arles-Killeen deep in relegation trouble as they find themselves two points away from safety with five games to go.
Ballyroan-Abbey 2-11 The Heath 2-10
Ballyroan-Abbey gave their chances of staying in the ACFL Division 1A for another year a real shot in the arm following a one point win over fellow strugglers The Heath.
Pat Ryan’s side had won just once before yesterday’s encounter and found themselves cut adrift at the foot of the table.
But this win closes the gap to The Heath, who lie third from bottom, to just three points with five games to go.